Self-knowledge: definition and 8 tips to improve it

Self-knowledge: definition and 8 tips to improve it

When we ask ourselves “who am I” and it is not clear to us, it is relatively frequent to feel an uneasiness linked to uncertainty and the feeling that our lives do not have a backbone.In these cases we can be immersed in an existential crisis, because knowing oneself is a way of being realistic, a way of having our feet on the ground , of knowing where we want to go and of connecting with ourselves.

Self-knowledge is one of the keys to personal development and, at the same time, it is one of the basic principles for being able to regulate emotions, relate to others and fight for our goals.

In this article we will go deeper into this concept and review a series of tips to improve self-knowledge, that is, to learn to know yourself better.

The relationship between self-knowledge and emotional well-being

Self-knowledge is key to people’s psychological well-being, since those who know themselves best know what they want in life , not only in the big projects but also in the everyday things of life. People who know each other well know how to manage their emotions better even in the most difficult moments. The world around them can be destabilized, but not their inner world.

In fact, one of the concepts of psychology that has had the greatest impact in recent decades is emotional intelligence, and self-knowledge is the starting point for becoming an emotionally intelligent person. Knowing one’s own emotions and knowing what they mean to us is closely related to self-reflection and the improvement of mental health.

Finding yourself is key to happiness

Self-knowledge is also key to personal development, because helps us set realistic goals for ourselves and allows us to know where we are in our life journey. It helps us to plan because it also allows us to know the movements and actions that we must do to get where we want to go. That is why personal development experts help their clients to connect with themselves and discover what motivates them and what their desires are for greater happiness.

Self-knowledge is also key in the development of people, and is essential in some stages of life, because if we do not know who we are, confusion does not allow us to see the future clearly. Improving self-knowledge is the starting point for improving our overall well-being.

Actions to improve self-knowledge

So, what can be done to improve self-knowledge? In the following lines I leave you some advice so that you can discover yourself if you don’t know yourself yet.

1. Keep a diary

Writing a journal can help us to know ourselves. It is good because it makes us think about what we have done during the day, and it can help us to understand how we have felt . But also, if we read what we write again, it can give us feedback on how we are.

There is a type of diary called an “emotional diary”, which is aimed precisely at improving the self-knowledge of our emotions.

This type of diary consists of writing down how we have felt throughout the day, that is to say, that not only is what has happened to us written down, but it is necessary to reflect on our feelings and emotions. To do this, you can do it for 10 minutes just before going to bed . This is not a long time, and it can make you more emotionally aware.

2. Write down your strengths and weaknesses

It might seem that we all know each other, but in reality, there are many people who have never reflected on their virtues and defects . In fact, there are people who go to a job interview and when the recruiter asks them to describe themselves or to highlight their strengths or weaknesses they are left blank.

To avoid this and get to know yourself better, you can list your strengths and weaknesses, as it will make you think about who you are and the qualities you possess. This can also be useful when looking for a job or deciding what studies you should take. On the other hand, keep in mind that there is no objective way to do this task well , only yours, so don’t get obsessed: the best judge of this subject is yourself.

3. Write down your passions

When choosing a job or what you want to study, it is also interesting to value what your hobbies and passions are, that is, what activities or jobs make you feel in a “state of flow” when you practice them. Knowing our passions can help us improve our self-motivation and happiness.

4. Make the Wheel of Life

A well-known dynamic for improving one’s self-knowledge is what is known as “the wheel of life”. It is a personal development technique that consists of making a circle and choosing 10 areas of your life that you want to change or improve . The wheel of life invites you to reflect on the different aspects of your life: your friendships, family, work, leisure, etc.

It also makes you think about your priorities, since once you have chosen the points in your life that you consider fundamental, you must assign them a number according to the order of preference for you. Then you can start writing down the actions you will take to transform your life. This allows you to know your present but also to know what future you want.

5. Ask someone for a description of yourself

Many times we think we look the same as the others see us and it is not always so. Sometimes, others see us differently and it can shock us. Therefore, to improve our self-knowledge, we can ask our friends to describe how they see us. This way we can make ourselves a more realistic image of what we project .

6. Attend an EQ workshop

Emotional Intelligence, as I have already said, is one of the most important paradigms of psychology in recent times, and the management of emotions is important not only for people’s mental hygiene, but also for intervening on performance and success in life.

That’s why, to improve your self-knowledge, a good idea is to attend an EQ course or workshop that gives you a series of tools to know yourself better and relate better to your own emotions.

  • There are many EQ workshops. You can find some in this article: “The 6 best courses of Emotional Intelligence and Personal Development”.

7. Practice Mindfulness

Another practice that improves emotional management is Mindfulness, which consists of improving self-awareness and attention span and allows one to learn to be in the present with a non-judgmental, accepting, compassionate and open-minded attitude towards experience.

  • Scientific research confirms that this practice enhances self-knowledge as discussed in this article: “Mindfulness: 8 benefits of mindfulness”

8. Opt for coaching

Coaching has also been shown to be effective in improving self-knowledge, better planning of the goals we want to pursue and empowering us to face life, with a more realistic and adaptive vision . Therefore, in order to improve self-knowledge, it is possible to hire the services of a psychologist specialized in this field who will accompany you in the process of self-discovery. Like Mindfulness, coaching also has a series of benefits for binestar and personal growth.

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